11 septembre aaron klein abbas abdallah abdallah II abdelkader merah accords d'oslo adam zertal adenauer affaires Ă©trangĂ¨res afghanistan africom afrique afrique du sud ahmadinejad aipac AKP al qaeda al qaida al-arabiya al-fayed al-qaida algĂ©rie algeria aliyah allemagne amĂ©rique america anavad ANC angela merkel ankara ansar dine antisĂ©mitisme antisemitism antizionism apartheid aqmi arabes arabes israĂ©liens arabie saoudite arabs arafat armĂ©e armĂ©niens army ashkenazy assad assemblĂ©e gĂ©nĂ©rale assyriens atatĂĽrk auschwitz autoritĂ© palestinienne ayrault azawad Ă©conomie Ă©glise Ă©gypte Ă©lections Ă©tat Ă©tats-unis Ă©vangĂ©liques bachman baker balkans balladur bangladesh bankruptcy banlieues barack obama barak barbares bat yeor bayrou begin beheading beilin belgique belgium benoĂ®t xvi berbĂ¨res bernheim bible biden bill clinton blancs blood libel BNVCA bourgine brĂ©sil brexit britain brzezinski burke bush byzantins cahuzac cameron canada carter Castro cfr chaos charlie hebdo Chavez cheney chiisme chiites china chine chirac chosroes ii chrĂ©tiens christianisme christianity christians church chypre circumcision cisjordanie citizenship claude guĂ©ant clĂ©menceau clermont-tonnerre clinton cnn CNRS colin powell cologne columbia commentary communautĂ© communism communisme confrĂ©ries congrĂ¨s conseil de sĂ©curitĂ© conservatism conservative conservatives consistoire constantinople constitution contestation coptes coran corĂ©e du nord corsica crif crime crise crise sociale cuba cuisine cukierman culture daesh daniel johnson daniel pearl david pryce-jones dĂ©mocrates dĂ©mocratie dĂ©mographie de gasperi de gaulle democrats demographics demography desportes dhimmis dhimmitude dieudonnĂ© dinard dollar dreyfus droit international droite droits de l'homme druzes egypte eilat mazar eisenhower election elections emanuel emigration empire ottoman ena enderlin enfants erbakan erdogan espagne etat etats-unis ethnic ethnie EU eurabia eurasia euro europe european parliament european union exode expulsion expulsions fabius far left far right fatah fayĂ§al ferdinand ferhat fethullah gĂĽlen fifth republic fillon finkielkraut flandre flotille fmi FN fondapol food foreign affairs foreign policy france franco frĂ¨res musulmans french french muslims front national frontiĂ¨re internationale fusion antisemitism gates gauche gaza gĂ©nĂ©tique gĂ©nocide gĂ©opolitique genocide geopolitics george soros george w. bush george washington germany ghozlan gingrich giscard d'estaing giuliani globalization golden age goldnadel goldstone grande-bretagne grĂ¨ce greece greens grippe espagnole guĂ©ant guĂ©rilla guerre guerre civile guerre de sĂ©cession gurfinkiel hallal halutz hamas hamon haredim harkabi hĂ©breux hekla herzl herzog hezbollah hillary clinton hillel halkin histoire history hitler hollande holocaust holocauste hungary huntsman hurvah hypercasher ibn saoud icm research idĂ©ologie identitĂ© nationale ifop iforas iiie rĂ©publique ilan halimi immigrants immigration implantations inĂ¶nĂĽ inde ined internet interview irak iran irgoun isabelle ISIS islam islamic state islamism islamisme islamistes islamists israĂ©lites israĂ«l israel israel beiteinu italie ivan de bloch j call j street jabotinsky jĂ©rusalem jĂĽnger jean paul II jean-marie le pen jerusalem jewish revival jews jihad jihadism jihadisme jihadistes jihadists john mccain johnson jordanie jour de colĂ¨re judaĂŻsme judĂ©o-christianisme juifs juifs amĂ©ricains juppĂ© kabylie kadhafi kadima kadimah kassam kemal kennedy kerry kgb khamenei khomeini kippour kissinger knesset kohl korsia kosher kosher supermarket kosovo kotel kouchner l'express l'obs la paix maintenant laĂŻcitĂ© lapid ldj le drian le monde le nouvel observateur le pen le point lebanon left leftwing Levant liban libĂ©raux liberation libertariens libertĂ© libye liebermann ligne verte likoud livni livres london louis xvi LR lyons maccain macron magoudi mahmoud abbas mai 1968 mali mandat mandela mao marcion marcionisme marine le pen marines marion marĂ©chal-le pen maroc marseilles massacres massortis mavi marmara mayflower mĂ©dias mĂ©lanchon mccain media medias mein kampf merah meretz mergui merkel mexique michel gurfinkiel middle east migrants migration missiles mitterrand mnla mohamed merah monarchie monarchy monde arabe monde islamique monod mont du temple montauban montebourg montesquieu morocco morsi mosaic moscovici moubarak moyen-orient munich murder muslims musulmans napolĂ©on napoleon naqba nasser natalitĂ© national assembly national front nations unies nato nazis neo-french netanyahu nethanyahu new emerging powers new york new york review of books new york times nicolas sarkozy nixon noĂ«l nobel noirs north america norvĂ¨ge nouvel observateur november 13 NPA nuclĂ©aire obama occident occupation oliganthropie olmert olp onfray onu opinion orban orient orthodoxes oslo otan ottomans pacifisme pahlavi paix pakistan palestine palestinians palestiniens palin pape paris paritĂ© parlement europĂ©en pĂ©tain pĂ©trole pence peres peripheral france perses peste antonine peste de justinien petraeus peuple juif pew pipes PLO pogrom pogroms poland police politique poll pologne pompidou populism poutine prĂ©sidentielle prĂ©sidentielles premier tour presidential election primaires primaries printemps arabe processus de paix proche-orient prophĂ¨te protestantisme PS pundak putin qaradawi quai d'orsay quartiers quenelle qumran rabbis rabin racism rahm emanuel raid rajoy rasmussen rĂ©formĂ©s rĂ©formes rĂ©fugiĂ©s rĂ©publicains rĂ©volution reagan refugees regional elections religieux religion rempart republican pacts republicans restaurants revolution right riots riyad rogers romains romney ron paul roosevelt roquette rosenfeld rouhani royal royaume-uni russia russie rwanda sadate sahara salafistes salem al-fayed sanctuaire du rocher sandler santorum sarah halimi sarkozy saudi arabia savir sĂ©golĂ¨ne royal sĂ©nat sĂ©pharades scandale SCO SDN selden senate shafik shalit shalom akhshav shamir sharon shas shoah sionisme socialist socialists sociĂ©tĂ© society sondages soral soviet union spcj ss staline state nobility state of emergency statism stratĂ©gie strauss-kahn strikes subworlds succession sunnites sweden sykes-picot synagogue syria syrie tahrir tardieu tariq ramadan taubira tel-aviv terre d'israĂ«l terror terrorism terrorisme thatcher the west time tocqueville torah totalitarisme toulouse tourisme travaillistes trevidic tribus trilatĂ©rale truman trump tsahal tunisie turkey turquie tv ue uk ukraine UMP un unesco union europĂ©enne union pour la mĂ©diterranĂ©e united states unrwa URSS US usa valeurs actuelles valeurs judĂ©o-chrĂ©tiennes valls vatican vĂ©drine ve rĂ©publique versailles vichy vietnam violence walter laqueur war washington washington post wastelands west women wright yemen zacharie zapatero
Dimanche 4 dĂ©cembre 2011
Far Left/ The 94-Year-Old Frenchman Behind 'Occupy'
Stéphane Frédéric Hessel's best-selling brochure helped launch the movement.
A little more than 13 months ago, a left-wing French publishing house specializing in Third World advocacy published a very short (32 pages) and very cheap (three euros) political brochure titled Indignez-vous! (Time for Outrage!).
The author was nonagenarian Stephane Frederic Hessel: a Nazi camp survivor, a former ambassador, and a regular French talk show guest. The booklet was an instant bestseller: one million copies in the first ten weeks, 1.5 million in the first year.
It still remains, as of today, the number one book on French bestseller lists.
The reasons for such a stunning success were quite obvious. Those people who read a bit, but not much, were thrilled to buy what passed for a serious essay by an important person for less than the price of a magazine. They were even happier to find out that Hessel’s philosophy was a perfect fit for their own intellectual and ethical size.
The Great Old Man urged contemporary youth to get “outraged” about poverty and injustice and to fight for a better world, just as he had done seventy years earlier as a member of the anti-Nazi Resistance. Who on Earth would contend with that, especially when the enemy was not the Third Reich, but benign modern democracies?
Moreover, the villain Hessel repeatedly mentioned and attacked was Israel — the country most people in France love to hate already.
Hessel’s booklet was almost as successful worldwide as in France proper. It was quickly translated and published in ten European languages and in Hebrew; overall sales hit 3.5 million copies. Translations were then produced in ten more languages.
The only exception in terms of popularity was the U.S.: the pamphlet was just inserted in The Nation’s April 7-14 issue. Practical Americans, even of the liberal persuasion, apparently had trouble selling it or buying it as a book.
Hessel’s influence on the ground grew to dwarf his sales accomplishments.
“Outraged” movements claiming to follow the old Frenchman’s philosophy bloomed in countries hit by recession or bankruptcy, like Spain, Greece, the UK, Chile, and more recently the United States. Strangely enough, even Israel — in spite of its comparatively good economic and financial shape and Hessel’s rabid anti-Zionism — was hit by the movement last summer.
All “outraged“ movements tended to follow a single pattern. Citizens with no explicit political affiliation “occupied“ major streets, squares, or public spaces for days or weeks, day and night, insisting upon “social justice” or “change.” They erected little booths and tent villages, both in order to sleep there and to make it more difficult to be moved out or blocked by police the following day.
Most democratic governments were reluctant to suppress such behavior, even if they were legally entitled to do so. In some countries, like Spain, there might even have been a not-too-secret understanding between the left-wing cabinet poised to lose the coming election and the demonstrators, who disclaimed in advance whatever measures a future conservative cabinet would take. (Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero’s socialists lost to Mariano Rajoy’s conservatives on November 20.)
Clearly, the so-called Arab Spring was connected to Hessel’s “outraged“ campaign. The demonstrations and sit-ins that led to the eviction of both Zine el-Abidine Ben-Ali in Tunisia and Hosni Mubarak in Egypt were modeled after Spain’s Indignados operations. This factor might not have been decisive by itself, but it did deter Western powers from extending support to leaders who were previously their local allies.
The much more complex Libyan, Yemenite, Bahraini, and Syrian upheavals started as replicas of the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions. There was evidence of direct contacts between Arab insurgents and Western “outraged“ groups or Western NGOs close to the global “outraged“ movement.
As for the Israeli replica, it was launched in part by left-wing activists close to similar American and/or European NGOs, and was designed at some point as a tool to topple the Netanyahu cabinet. It didn’t work out that way: the core of the local “outraged” Israelis were just democratically minded patriots complaining about supposed negative byproducts of a two-decade economic boom, like the rise of real estate prices in cities like Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
Hessel may not have been the real thinker and promoter of his movement.
At 93 (last year) and 94 (now), he seems to enjoy excellent health and clarity of thought. He may indeed have written the few pages that turned him into an instant world icon. However, the pages were more likely provided by a ghostwriter. A convincing argument, in this respect, is that Time for Outrage! is a “party line“ operation. It is less about Hessel expressing his views than about others setting an agenda and Hessel endorsing it.
The very concept of getting “outraged“ was already successfully tried in 1996 by another French author with similar political views. Viviane Forrester authored the much lengthier but equally thin in intellectual terms L’Horreur Economique (The Economic Horror). As for the tent villages on public space, that had been tested in Paris from 2006 to 2009 by “Les Enfants de Don Quichotte” (“Don Quixote’s Children”), a group agitating for housing rights.
In his recently released book Red Army, Aaron Klein argues that the old radical and pro-Soviet networks of the Cold War era have resurfaced in contemporary American politics. This powerful organization helped Barack Obama conquer the Democratic Party and then the White House, and this American Red Army, as he calls it, stands behind the Occupy Wall Street movement.
What Klein says about the U.S. is true of many other countries as well. Most of the radical groups that have been operating in Western countries since the mid-90s — from the anti-globalist and Green movements to the Islamists and anti-Israel militants — can be traced to radical and pro-Soviet Cold War-era networks. In many instances, they have the same goals (with some adjustments), the same tactics (in a slightly modified or modernized form), and even the same personnel.
Stéphane Hessel’s popularity derives from his longevity and a grandiose but carefully edited personal narrative. His parents were the models for Jules et Jim, a famous novel turned into a famous film. The rest of his life, however, seems to be ridden with exaggerations, half-lies, and riddles.
The circumstances under which he was arrested by the Gestapo in 1944 and transferred to a “special camp” in Germany are obscure. He was not “one of the drafters” of the UN Human Rights Charter of 1948 as he has often maintained, but merely a junior assistant to the Charter’s main editor, the great French jurist René Cassin. While making, all in all, a prestigious career at Quai d’Orsay (the French Foreign Office), he was nevertheless barred from many sensitive jobs. In fact, many of his colleagues wondered whether he was not a bit too left-wing.
It comes as no surprise that such a man has been willing to lend himself to the “outraged“ movement, even only as a fellow traveler. And to achieve fame by the same token.
Michel Gurfinkiel is the president of the Jean Jacques Rousseau Institute, a European think tank in Paris.
(c) Michel Gurfinkiel & PajamasMedia, 2011
Afficher les commentaires en (Vue non groupĂ©e | Vue groupĂ©e)
Votre analyse est intĂ©ressante, mais attention Ă ne pas tomber dans le piĂ¨ge conspirationniste inversĂ©. Vous n'apportez aucune preuve historique tangible que StĂ©phane Hessel ait obĂ©i aux instructions de je ne sais quel chef d'orchestre gauchiste clandestin, ni que le printemps arabe et le mouvement des indignĂ©s aient Ă©tĂ© organisĂ©s par "le gang Ă StĂ©phane Hessel". Qu'il y ait une affinitĂ© idĂ©ologique, une inspiration rĂ©ciproque, c'est tout Ă fait possible. Que ces mouvements (je mets Ă part le printemps arabe) soient inspirĂ©s par l'idĂ©ologie de gauche, c'est Ă©vident. Qu'il y ait un rĂ©seau communiste international, un complot, une organisation Ă la tĂŞte de tout cela, c'est une spĂ©culation pure et simple. D'autant plus invraisemblable qu'il n'est nul besoin d'organisation pour aboutir Ă de tels effets.
Pas de rĂ©troliens